Skip to main content

Full text of "Wearables"

See other formats

Knitted Boots 


Make Projects 

build, hack, tweak, share, discover. 

Knitted Boots 

Written By: Tina Marrin 


Crochet hook (1) 
U.S. size 10 or "J". 

Double- pointed needles (19) 
U.S. size 13. 

Drill bit (3) 
3/32". 7/32". 1/4". 

Flexible measuring tape (1) 

Permanent marking pen (1) 
or tack or push pin. 

Power Drill (1) 

Scissors (1) 

Tapestry needle (1) 
size 13. 


Merino roving (8 oz) 

(yarn) in "Autumn Forest" or color of 


Pair of shoes (1) 


3/8" wide post-it brand cover-up tape (or 

other low-tack tape). 


The first time I saw a knitted boot in a magazine, I was inspired to try my hand at replicating 
it. The plan was to transform a pair of existing high-heel pumps (that I bought and rarely 
wore) into a pair of knitted, knee-high mukluks that I would always wear. I knew I needed to 
make evenly spaced holes around the base of the existing shoes to anchor the "cast-on" 
© Make Projects Page 1 of 13 

Knitted Boots 

stitches, and that I would use a power drill to do it. 

The bulky, rugged wool I chose provided an appealing contrast to the slender spiked heel. 
And as I rotated the shoe around, engulfing it in knitting, the process felt curiously sculptural 
- and more like what a potter would feel like at his spinning wheel as a wet lump of clay is 
being transformed into a fine vessel. 

© Make Projects Page 2 of 1 3 

Knitted Boots 

Step 1 — Prep the yarn. 

© Make Projects Page 3 of 1 3 

Knitted Boots 

• Take the 8 oz. ball of merino roving 
in the color of your choice and split 
the entire yardage into 2 strands by 
pulling apart, starting at one end, to 
make 2 balls. 

• Note: the roving naturally 
splits apart in 2 fairly equal 
parts, but you may need to coax 
evenness a little. Don't worry if it's 
not perfect — that's part of what 
gives the boot its texture and 
unique beauty. Roving is unspun 
wool and may seem fragile, but 
once knitted, it's quite strong. 

• Split both balls of the roving apart 
again to make a total of 4 balls, and 
then again to make 8 balls. If the 
roving breaks apart, you can 
simply moisten it with saliva or 
water and vigorously rub the 2 
overlapped ends together between 
your palms (creating heat) — this 
will permanently "felt" the roving 

• Note: At this point, I like to 
arrange the balls of roving 

according to thickness. I use the 
thinner roving for the beginning part 
of the project to avoid "fat feet." 

• As long as you stick to a fiber that 
knits up at about the same gauge 
— 1 stitch (st) per inch, you can 
drill your holes the way the pattern 
describes. For thinner yarn, you 
will have to drill your holes a little 

© Make Projects 

Page 4 of 13 

Knitted Boots 

closer together, and adjust the 
pattern for the new stitch count. 

Step 2 — Mark the shoes. 

• Run Post-It tape along the outside bottom part of each shoe upper, making a 2" tall "line" 
around the bottom of the shoe. Tear 1/2"— 1 " pieces of tape to conform to the curves of the 

• On each shoe, mark the center of the toe box (eyeball it) just above the tapeline. 

• While holding the measuring tape up to the tapeline, make a mark 2/A" to the left of the 
center toe mark, just above the tapeline. 

• Continue marking every 3/4" up to the center back seam. Don't mark on the back (or any) 
shoe seam. You now have 16 marks on one side of the shoe (not including the center 

• Repeat the last two steps on the right side. You should have 33 total marks (including the 
center toe mark) on each shoe. Remove the tape. 

© Make Projects 

Page 5 of 13 

Knitted Boots 

Step 3 — Drill the shoes. 

• Drill a 3/32" hole into each mark, 
beginning at the back of each shoe. 

• Drill straight through the upper. 
These holes will be the "pilot 
holes." As you get to the toe area, 
be careful not to drill into the toe 

• Drill all marks on both shoes. Then 
replace the 3/32" drill bit with a 
7/32" bit and re-drill all holes with 
the larger bit. Again, never drill into 
any seams. 

• With a 1/4" drill bit, re-drill all holes 
on both shoes. Dust off shoes. 

• Note: Take care not to drill 
into any insole or midsole 
materials. By creating the marks 2" 
above the bottom of the shoe 
upper, we have most likely avoided 
this possibility. 

• Also, be more careful with 
depressing the drill trigger when 
drilling with the larger bits, which 
"grab" more forcefully and quickly 
than the smaller bit. 


© Make Projects 

Page 6 of 13 

Knitted Boots 

Step 4 — Cast on. 

• For each shoe, take a ball of roving 
and cast on (more like picking up 
stitches), beginning at the first hole 
to the left of the center back seam. 

• Insert the crochet hook from the 
outside to the inside of the shoe. 
The yarn is waiting, on the inside of 
the shoe, to be grabbed by the 
crochet hook and pulled through 
(forming your first loop on the 
outside of the shoe). 

• Slide the loop onto a size 13 DPN 
(double-pointed needle). Pick up 
(pull through) the next loop (left of 
the first loop) with the hook and 
place it on the same DPN. Don't 
pull too tight and put only 3-5 loops 
on each needle. 

• Keep picking up, as before, until all 
holes have a loop coming out of 

• Cut yarn. When cast-on is 
complete you'll have 2 tails 
(approximately 4 1/2" each) inside 
of each shoe. We'll tie these tails in 

• Note: I use 9 dpns per shoe 
at cast-on stage. 

© Make Projects 

Page 7 of 13 

Knitted Boots 

Step 5 — Knit the shoes. 

© Make Projects 

Page 8 of 13 

Knitted Boots 

• Row 1. Using a size 10 or "J" crochet hook and a ball of roving, "knit" the first row of 
stitches by pulling one stitch through with the crochet hook and place it (transfer) to a 
DPN. After the last stitch of the very first row is knit, cast on one stitch by making a firm 
backwards loop onto the right-hand needle. This is your center back stitch. 

• Note: the reason we are using a crochet hook for knitting the first few rows is be- 
cause the stitches are very tight, since they are lodged between hard dpns and a 
fairly non-pliable shoe. The stitches will eventually loosen up around row 2 or 3. 

• Row 2. k14, ssk, k1 (center toe stitch, or c.t.s.), k2tog, k15. 

• Row 3. k13, ssk, k1 (c.t.s.), k2tog, k14. 

• Row 4. k12, ssk, k1 (c.t.s.), k2tog, k13. 

• Note: ssk means slip, slip, knit and is a famous left-slanting decrease. K2tog is a 
common right-slanting decrease. The different decreases make the boot more 
symmetrical-looking, neat, and attractive. 

• Row 5. k11, ssk, k1 (c.t.s.), k2tog, k12. 

• Row 6. k10, ssk, k1 (c.t.s.), k2tog, k11. 

• Row 7. k9, ssk, k1 (c.t.s.), k2tog, k10. 

• Row 8. k8, ssk, k1 (c.t.s.), k2tog, k9. 

• Row 9. k7, ssk, k1 (c.t.s.), k2tog, k8. 

• Row 10. k6, ssk, k1 (c.t.s.), k2tog, k7. 

• Row 11. Increase 1, k5, ssk, k1 (c.t.s.), k2tog, k5, increase 1, k1. 

• Row 12. k5, ssk, k1 (c.t.s.), k2tog, k6. The shoe is now completely covered, and the body 
of the boot has begun to take shape. 

• Note: now is a good time to tie in the cast-on ends, by weaving them in and out of 
the drilled holes. The other two ends can be weaved into the purl side of the fabric, 
as in normal knitting. 

© Make Projects Page 9 of 1 3 

Knitted Boots 

Step 6 — Fill in the front. 

© Make Projects Page 10 of 13 

Knitted Boots 

• Face the front toe area and put 3 of 

the centermost stitches on a DPN. 

m i 

• Cut the yarn at the back of the 


shoe (leaving a tail) and use that 


ball of yarn to knit the front 3 
stitches on the DPN. 


' ^^ ^^L^mf ^1 

• Turn the shoe so the back heel 

^^^v § M 

faces your body. Transfer 1 open 


stitch (held by the other DPNs) to 
each side of the DPN holding those 

3 centermost stitches. 

• You now have 5 stitches on the 
centermost front DPN. Purl those 5 

• Note: this is a good time to 
weave in any extra ends or 
tighten up any holes or loose spots 
in the knitting, since we are now 
going to tightly enclose the shoe. 

• Turn the work again to face the 
front toe area, and transfer 1 open 
stitch to each side of the same 
centermost DPN. 

• You now have 7 stitches on the 
centermost front DPN. Knit those 7 
stitches. You should now have 14 
stitches on all the DPNs around the 

• Facing the back heel, add 2 more 
open stitches to each side of the 
centermost DPN. 

• Note: At this point, you may 
have to break up the center 
stitches with more dpns. 

© Make Projects 

Page 11 of 13 

Knitted Boots 

• You now have 9 stitches on the 
centermost front DPN. Purl those 9 

• Turn the shoe to face the front toe 
area and add 2 more open stitches, 
as before. 

• You now have 1 1 stitches on the 
centermost front DPN. Knit those 
11 stitches. 

Step 7 — Grow the boot. 

• From where you left off, start knitting around for 10 rounds. 

• Note: You may knit around for as many rounds as you want, depending on how 
much yarn you have left. But remember to leave enough yarn for a final rib cuff and 
the bind-off. 

© Make Projects 

Page 12 of 13 

Knitted Boots 

Step 8 — Rib and bind off. 

• After your last round is completed, 
begin a knit purl rib pattern (k1p1) 
for 5 rounds. 

• Bind off all 14 stitches loosely and 
tie in any remaining ends. 

• Repeat Steps 2-8 for the second 

• Voila! You've just made yourself a 
rustic pair of knitted slouch boots. 

This project first appeared in CRAFT Volume 01 , pages 78-85. 

This document was last generated on 2012-10-30 11 :1 8:06 PM. 

© Make Projects 

Page 13 of 13